Fraud Investigations: Investigating Scams, Schemes and Deceptive Actions

fraud investigation

In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services from him or her unjustly.  Fraud can be committed through many methods, including mail, wire, phone, and the internet fraud.  Fraud, in addition to being a criminal act, is also a type of civil law violation known as a tort. A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy.

A civil fraud typically involves the act of making a false representation of a fact susceptible of actual knowledge which is relied upon by another person, to that person’s detriment.

How to Deal With Fraudulent Emails

If you receive an email that is clearly fraudulent email, exercise immediate caution. Emails of this type are designed to get you to provide personal information such as your bank account number, routing number, social security number, birth date, etc. The information obtained is then used to secure a credit card in your name, or draft a payment from your checking or savings account.  Report it to your internet service provider and to your email hosting provider, then add to your spam filter and delete the original message.

Under no circumstances should you respond to the message and definitely do not provide any information requested. Fraud email messages of this nature can often be very convincing, tempting you to respond. It is in your best interest to simply report it, delete and block so you won’t receive this type of junk in the future.

List of Fraud Investigation Resources

Following are websites that provide information on various types of business fraud, computer fraud, internet fraud.  Many of the websites provide tips and suggestions for preventing and protecting yourself from fraud and allow you to file a formal complaint.

  • ACFE Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – The world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education.
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • eBay Security & Resolution Center – Resources to help you stay safe while buying and selling products on eBay.
  • Federal Trade Commission – File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if you suspect you are a victim of fraud.
  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – FinCen works to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combats money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.
  • Information Systems Audit and Control Association – Engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems.
  • Institute of Internal Auditors – The Institute of Internal Auditors works to provide leadership for the global profession of internal auditing.
  • International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions – The IOSAI operates as an umbrella organisation for the external government audit community
  • Internet Crime Complaint Center – The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complainant.
  • National Consumer’s League Internet Fraud Watch – Now, is dedicated to consumer education and advocacy related to Internet and telemarketing fraud prevention
  • National White Collar Crime Center – Provides a nationwide support system for agencies involved in the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of economic and high-tech crimes and to support and partner with other appropriate entities in addressing homeland security initiatives, as they relate to economic and high-tech crimes.
  • Society of Financial Examiners – A professional society for examiners of insurance companies, banks, savings and loans, and credit unions

What Private Investigators Need to Know

Private investigators are hired to uncover information on a broad range of topics. A private investigator with strong skills in surveillance may be hired to follow subjects who may be involved with insurance scams. Other private investigators with forensic accounting skills may be hired to uncover embezzlement schemes or employee theft.

Learn more about other Frauds, Scams and Schemes.


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